MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality advises the public that possible sightings and reports of oil sheen on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Isaac may be naturally occurring iron bacteria, which are not harmful to people’s health or water.
Iron bacteria occur naturally in waterways where they feed on minerals in the water. Some oil-like films, coatings and slimes may look bad but are a natural phenomena. These phenomena are caused by bacteria reacting to the presence of minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and sulfur in the water.
Bacteria live in wet areas, and may create oil-like films when they attach themselves to the water surface. Sunlight reflects off the films giving them an oily appearance.
To test the difference between a bacterial film and oil floating on the water, break the film. If the film stays broken, it is a natural bacterial film. If it flows back into place, it is petroleum.
However, it is possible that oil or oily material may be sighted on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and MDEQ requests that sightings of any oil or oily material be reported to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info